I remember reading a blog post some years back, that said that the Boa Vista to Bonfim Road was made of red bricks and sand. The funny thing was that I was reading this blog post just a few minutes after having crossed this road myself.
And guess what? The road wasn’t made of red bricks and sand! It was a beautifully paved bitumen road! So was the article I just read outrageously stupid? Or just plain wrong? The answer: neither. It was simply outdated!
That article had been written a few years back, when the road was indeed made of red bricks and sand. The author had failed to update the article with more current information. And what’s more, is that there was nowhere on that page that indicated when the article was published or when it was last updated. Nevertheless, the article ranked well in Google for the keyword “road from boa vista to bonfim,” because so many factors come into play when Google ranks web pages. Remember, Google is a “machine” and each article is not reviewed manually.
For many types of articles then, it is important to indicate to the reader when the article was last updated. This indication is important for articles where the topic discussed may change over time.
A “last updated” field is not required for all types of articles. For examples, many product pages on my website selling Brazilian products do not really need a “last updated” field, since the product information is not likely to change very fast, or without being updated.
So what articles need a “last updated” field? You’re the one to decide! If your article is about people and places, definitely! If your article is about taking a trip to Kaieteur Falls in Guyana, definitely! Of course, the falls is not likely to change, but information such as routes and costs of flights can change! Therefore, indicate to the reader when last such articles were updated!
Of course, it is sometimes easy to forget to update each article manually with last updated information. The good news is, for those of us using WordPress, there are quite a few WordPress Plugins that, when activated, stamps ‘last updated’ information automatically on each web page! All you have to do is place the last updated shortcode wherever you want this critical information to appear. After that, whenever you update the article, the “last updated” information will be automatically “updated”!
Just look at the very top of this article. When was it last updated?
If you have a WordPress website, just search the WordPress Repository for a good ‘last updated’ Plugin!